Apple sold almost 60 million AirPods wireless headphones in 2019, according to a market-analysts firm. That’s a dramatic increase from the 35 million the company is estimated to have sold the year before.
And Apple took the lion’s share of 2019 sales of totally wireless (TWS) headsets.
Bluetooth LE Audio, a new version of this wireless standard, sets out to increase the battery lives of audio devices like Apple’s AirPods. It will provide high-quality sound even at low data rates, reducing the power requirements of tiny in-ear headphones.
If you’re ready to make the leap to hands-free talking, or are looking to upgrade from an older bluetooth headset, the Plantronics Voyager Pro+ ($99) is one of the best headsets on the market and is worthy of your dollars. But beware, its voluminous size may leave some sheepish, wishing for a more discreet unit.
The Arctic P311 Bluetooth headset ($40) is an excellent option for those desiring a pair of über-comfortable Bluetooth stereo headphones without having to hock a family heirloom to afford them. My first impression, naturally, was that I probably wouldn’t get a top-performer for $40, so expectations weren’t high. But it was love at first listen when the P311s emerged from their packaging.
Plantronics is without a doubt one of the biggest names associated with Bluetooth headsets, and quite possibly has one of the — if not the — largest catalog of headsets of any manufacturer. The Plantronics Savor M1100 ($80) is positioned at the high-end of their consumer line, with an emphasis on high-tech features, including a voice-controlled commands, and a nod toward aesthetics. Considering Plantronics stellar reputation for consistently producing solid performers, expectations for the Savor M1100 were high as the plastic came off the box…
Here’s an interesting idea: Take a thoughtfully designed, well-rounded, high-tech Bluetooth headset and mate it to a dedicated iPhone app (called EarPrint) with a boatload of mostly useful functions, and — voila, the dazzling result would look exactly like the Sound ID 510 Bluetooth headset ($129).
Nailing down the design and functionality of a Bluetooth headset seems like it’d be a fairly easy task. Yet if you’ve ever been in the market for a new headset, you’ve probably noticed that their aren’t many models out there that offer great design and functionality at a fair price. Jabra’s Extreme Headset ($79) is here to the rescue to provide a great experience at a reasonable price.
Despite the word “Droid” plastered everywhere, the new Motorola CommandOne Bluetooth headset ($100) has already become my friend. True, it’ll never learn to pronounce my name correctly, is misunderstood by some of my other friends and has questionable fashion sense. We remain friends, however, because it’s easy to understand and comfortably fits in my ear. It’s unlike most relationships, but it works for us.
Although BlueAnt focuses exclusively on Bluetooth communication gadgets (and now earphones), they aren’t as well recognized as some of the other names coming up in our review, and they don’t proffer up a ton of offerings. In fact, they currently only offer five; with the BlueAnt Q2 Headset ($100) positioned as their marquis headset.